Aboitiz Group, LGUs break ground for Yolanda schools

The Aboitiz Group has officially started the repair and rehabilitation of various schools in Yolanda-hit towns in North Cebu. A groundbreaking ceremony and Memorandum of Agreement signing was held in Argawanon Intergrated School, San Remegio, earlier this month.

About P140M has been set aside to repair and construct at least 200 classrooms benefitting 13, 000 elementary and high school students.

“We are forever grateful for their kindness, generosity and assistance given to the victims of (typhoon) Yolanda,” expressed Cebu Governor Hilario Davide III. He added that the province is currently working on the rehab and relocation of residents in coastal areas to safer grounds.

In his message, Presidential Assistant for Rehabilitation and Recovery Senator Panfilo Lacson revealed that the national government’s funds are available for the rehab of Yolanda-hit areas. However, gaps are anticipated because of the international protocols they have to strictly follow.

He thanked Aboitiz Foundation for “exemplifying philanthropic gesture” in helping the typhoon victims in Cebu and other areas.

Erramon Aboitiz, chairman of Aboitiz Foundation, assured that they are building to certain standards and ensure the project’s completion “on time, within budget and of quality – safe and conducive for learning”.

In expressing his gratitude to the Aboitiz Group, San Remegio Mayor Mariano Martinez said, “There is always a light at the end of the tunnel.” He added that San Remegio is “not only building better but also safer.”

Bro. Armin Luistro, secretary of Department of Education, reminded the teachers and students that “rains always bring blessings” and to “forever remember to say thank you”.

In a later interview, Lacson reported that he already received the complete provincial rehabilitation plan for Yolanda-hit areas in Northern Cebu.

“What I intend to do is not to wait anymore for the submission of the post-disaster needs assessment. I will recommend to the president to proceed with the rehab,” he said.

He also reported that a cabinet cluster meeting will be conducted today with Department of Agriculture and Department of Environment and Natural Resources to address the issues regarding land acquisitions for relocation sites.

“We hope by June, the national government will be in full swing in the implementation of the rehabilitation program,” he added.